Thursday, November 27, 2008

Talking to yourself is not praying

So there is this book called Conversations with God. In the conversations, the guy writes that God is in humans. So he is having a conversation with himself? How is this on the New York Times Best Seller list? What happened to our culture where people read this dribble? I can wax elequent for 200 pages about the way I think the world it, but I don't have the gall to title it "conversations with God". We have that book already, it's over 3,000 years old. It's actually a bunch of books, making up two volumes, Old and New Testament. Anyway, I was shocked and I wanted to share my annoyance. I never realized that you could make the best sellers list by writing a book about talking to yourself.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I am thankful for a lot. First and foremost I am thankful for my salvation. I am thankful that God loves and cares for me. I am thankful because He has blessed me far beyond what I deserve, with a beautiful wife, 3 kids and my dream job. I haven't had a perfect life, I have experienced some loss, but I have gained far more than I have ever lost. Each one of you who is reading my blog has blessed me. My friends from Golden Gate, my friends from ministry in Arizona, my friends from Heartland, my friends from Wyoming, my friends scattered. Each person that God has brought into my life has touched me, blessed me and helped me to grow. I am thankful for the chance to know you all, and to learn from you. What a great and mighty thing God does when He blesses us.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too late at night to be blogging.

Ever been grumpy for some seemingly unknow reason? Sort of grumpy tonight. Not sure why, had a good day. It was my day off, so I didn’t work much. I did a few e-mails and that was about it. Took the boys to a movie, hung out, made homemade pizza. So what’s my problem.

Maybe it’s the cold. Maybe it’s all the things I wanted to should have done today and didn’t. Maybe it’s that I’m a sinful man, trying to live redeemed but doing so poorly. After all, this blog is completely and totally self-absorbed, it’s all about how I feel and what I did and what I think.

I was going somewhere with all this. Stopped to talk to Elaine, and completely lost my train of thought. Anyway, I shouldn’t be grumpy, I should be content. Things are going well, life is good. Even when life is hard, those trials are the very thing that make me look more like Christ. Maybe I’m grumpy cause things are going well and I’ve gotten complacent. Maybe it’s cause I need to go to bed and I’m not. Who knows. I'll be happier tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Now if you started reading my blog thinking I was going to talk about the heresy of modalism, you will be disappointed. What I am talking about is the way we “do church”. I have been reading a book called Pagan Christianity. I have read Simple Church, Kingdom Focused Church, Purpose Driven Church, and a bunch of books that aren’t about the church, but they way we should behave in church. Small groups, Sunday School, Corporate worship, House Churches, who should lead, what they should lead and when and where they should lead it. Who started what and when and why.

Here is my conclusion. No one is happy with anything in the church. Big churches should be smaller, small churches should be larger. Some want praise songs, some want hymns. Most of the time, there is minimal scriptural evidence to support this stuff. Book after book after book of half-cocked arguments. Now with Pagan Christianity, the book says we shouldn’t even have a church service. We shouldn’t have paid clergy (unemployment here I come), or church buildings or music or any of that stuff.

Here is what else annoys me. 99% of the stuff that is being argued is details. We have done a church service the same way for 200 years. We have prayer, singing, sermon, passing the plate and invitation, not always in that order. It hasn’t changed, but we argue about what sort of plates to pass, how fast the music should be, and if we should pray in old, middle and modern English.

Here is my answer. DO WHAT GOD TELLS YOU. Just as equally important. DON’T ASSUME GOD TOLD EVERYONE ELSE WHAT HE TOLD YOU. God told Joshua to kill a whole lot of people. Doesn’t mean you should. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. You shouldn’t, God may not intervene for you. God told Noah to build a big boat. He didn’t tell you to build a big boat. Listen and then obey. A pastor named Don Pierson told a prayer conference I was in that God expects the time from His command to your obedience to be very short. If you have to stop and tell everyone else how to do what God told you, it makes your obedience be longer. If God tells you to go to a house church, then go. If God tells you to go to a big church, a small church, a growing church, even a dying church, because He wants you to breath life.

Be obedient is first. Be scriptural is second. I can’t list all the things that we want to do in church because it’s cultural, not scriptural. Guess what, there are things that make sense that are wrong. Rule of thumb, if you have to create an elaborate theology, filled with logic and reason to justify your position, it’s probably off. If your position cannot be justified by scripture, then maybe it’s time to rethink. Even if your idea is not popular, God is not real concerned with you being popular.

Last thing. Quit complaining. Too many whiners out there. In football, they call those armchair quarterbacks. If you are unhappy, either do something about it, or be happy. Either trust God that He put that leader or leadership team in place, or reality is that you are at a church where you feel that God didn’t put the leadership in place. If that’s the case, why are you still there? Then we can have less books to tell us what’s right or what’s wrong or what’s good or what’s bad. I closed a blog with the statement about being a church and being The Church. Be part of the worldwide body of Christ. Minister to others, witness, evangelize, help, reach out. All the time we spend talking and fighting and backbiting, and causing divisions and factions takes away from the time we need to spend being The Church, the Catholic (which means universal, I’m not referring to the denomination) Church.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So what is BCI you are asking. It's the Baptist Convention of Iowa. This was my first outing to the BCI, and I had a good time. It was very similar to Wyoming, much different from Arizona. It made me miss the ASBC, I miss seeing the state guys, I miss Dr. Bass. The State Missionary, Jimmy Barantine is a really nice guy, but a little less personable than Steve Bass. Things are much more spread out here, so there is less contact.

There is an ideology here about being Christians and not Southern Baptists, which I agree with. I think we are followers of Christ first, but I am always nervous about when being a SB is minimized and marginalized. I have been a Southern Baptist my whole life, and these years as I have aged, it's been by choice. I have looked at CMA, and E-Free churches. As a young minister, no one gave me opportunity to serve like the SBC. At the age of 32, I have been a NAMB appointed missionary twice over, served as Associate Pastor in 3 churches, graduated with a Masters from a Seminary without huge debts. I have a chance to pursue my doctorate in a few years. The SBC has given me some great opportunity.

The Southern Baptists do great mission work, we reach throughout the world to share the gospel. They do missions at home, around the world. They have the cooperative program which funds missions and church planting and outreach projects. I picked up a huge stack of items at the BCI annual meeting for no cost. I get trainings, downloads, helps and studies from our SBC partners.

All that being said, theology is solid, the methods are solid for the most part. The SBC makes mistakes, it’s not infallible, but it’s good and solid. They do a lot to reach the world, to reach your town and help your church (assuming you are a member of a Southern Baptist church). Lets not be so down on the SBC people, let’s support and partner and do what we can do to be The Church, and not just a church.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A boy and his dog, the end of an era.

I had to take my dog to the vet to be put down this morning. He was 14, completely blind, becoming cripple, developing sores, he was no longer housebroke, he got sick frequently. He wasn't doing well, and I have my doubts he was a happy dog. I had Lazarus when my parents died, when I got married, when I had all three kids. He was there for my High School, College and Seminary graduation. He was a dog, but I really loved that dog.

So now he's gone. The world wont notice much, he wasn't much of a contributor. We will miss him, even though he was a pain sometimes, he was my dog. There is no real way to say goodbye to a faithful friend and companion. He was a good dog. Goodbye old friend.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Concerned over California

So I heard on the radio today that the new constitutional amendment in the state of California is in court. So here is the deal, they passed a law to define marriage as one man and one woman. The courts over turned it, said it was unconstitutional. So they made an amendment. If the courts throw this amendment out, then they have in effect thrown off the restrains and balances, and the courts will be able to rule, legislate and dictate our country regardless of the will of the people. Out democracy will be a farse, the will of the people will not matter and the courts will rule. It's a very scary situation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stand corrected

Ok, I stand corrected, and I admit I was wrong. In a sense, I am glad I was wrong. I am glad to see this nation is not blind by it's own prejudice as much as I originally thought. On that side it's good. Now, as far as Obama being president. I don't agree with his stance on Abortion rights, Gay rights, Health Care and many of his economic policy. What I do believe is that God knows what He is doing, so if God allowed Obama to be elected, I will continue to trust Him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Election today

Well I wanted to post my thoughts on the election. I voted today, it seemed rather anti-climatic. John McCain or Barack Obama. Now I have been correct in my assertions the last 2 presidental elections. I said George W Bush would be president when I saw him on Time magazine before the 2000 eleciton. I said Bush would beat Kerry in the 04. I have said this country is not to a place where it will elect a black man to be president. We will see if I am correct.